Founding Memebrs and Advisory Board

Christopher Benninger

Christopher Benninger

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Christopher Charles Benninger is an architect and urban planner who studied under Jose Lluis Sert at Harvard University, where he later taught. He studied urban planning at MIT under Kevin Lynch and John F. C. Turner and was a member of the Delos Symposium Group headed by Constantino Doxiadis. A Fulbright Fellowship brought him to India in 1968 where he worked with Balkrishna Doshi at the [then] School of Architecture, who called him back to India to found the School of Planning in 1972. Since that time Professor Benninger has lived and worked in the Sub-continent, including Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Asian Development and the World Bank assignments have taken him to the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia on urban development works. His planning of the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, is well known as an early Eco-City Plan. He later built the National Ceremonial Plaza, The Supreme Court of Bhutan, the UN House and the National Secretariat of Bhutan. He won the competition fotr the Upper House of Parliament. He has planned a number of new towns, and for existing towns in India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka under World Bank and UN assignments. He has created mass shelter systems in Chennai, Gujarat, Hyderabad and other cities employing concepts like self help housing and "growing houses." His major architectural projects include the United World College of India, the Indian Institute of Management at Kolkata, the Indian Institute of Technology at Hyderabad; the Forbes Marshall Industrial Park at Chakan; the Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies; the Suzlon One Earth; the Bajaj Science Centre at Wardha; INDIA HOUSE at Pune; and the Azim Premji University which is under design in Bengaluru. On the edge of Pune he is building a large township for Abhishek Lodha. His book, published in Chinese, Gujarati and in English, LETTERS TO A YOUNG ARCHITECT, was on the Top Ten Best Selling Non-fiction Books in India and was awarded the Best Architectural Book of the Year 2012. His firm, Christopher Charles Benninger Architects, has recently been awarded India's most sought after commissions: the Azim Premji University at Bengaluru; and the Indian Institute of Technology at Hyderabad, along with the Indian Institute of Management at Kolkata. His city and regional planning works range from Sri Lanka, across India to Bhutan. Benninger's expansive campuses reveal an understanding of Indian "place making" reflecting the great temple complexes and the Mughal campuses. His narrative presents a language that lies between American ideals embedded in its wooded Arcadian landscapes and sacred notions enshrined within Indian courtyards, generating a unique approach to architecture and place making.His recent book, Letters To A Young Architect [ & &], focuses on the practice of architecture in developing societies, and was on the Top 10 Best Selling Non-Fiction Books List for 18 weeks in India, bringing to the general public ideas related to the built environment. The book is also translated into Chinese language and published from Shanghai. Currently Prof. Benninger is working on his second book "The Plan".

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The Institute significantly draws upon its Founders, Advisory Board and team that come from a diverse network of
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